Kenora’s Annual Dog Derby

Kenora’s Annual Dog Derby Vol. 13 No. 4by Lori Nelson One would think it safe to assume that an annual event would be held each year. Not necessarily so, at least not when it came to the annual dog derby held in Kenora. The first annual made its debut in April 1899....

Teeing Off: Golf’s Beginnings in Kenora

Teeing Off: Golf’s Beginnings in Kenora Vol. 10 No. 3by Lori Nelson While Lake of the Woods was the scene of most of the summer’s entertainment for Kenora residents and visitors in the early days, there were those who felt that boating, fishing, and swimming might not...

The Thistle Hockey Team Wins the Stanley Cup

The Thistle Hockey Team Wins the Stanley Cup by Laurie Shaw and Lori Nelson This is one game that probably has been dearer to the residents of this town than any other. With the old-timers it was almost a religion. A new Bank Manager, unfortunate man, saw no reason...

The Gold Street Toboggan and Ski Slide

The Gold Street Toboggan and Ski Slide Vol. 17 No. 4 In an area that is at once graced and cursed with a six-month winter, the philosophy of the residents has necessarily evolved from “we-can-survive-this” to “let’s-make-the-most-of-it.” Winter has become not only...

A Local Hero

A Local Hero Vol. 13 No. 2by Rat Portage Miner One hundred years ago, the concept of objective reporting often seemed to have escaped the writers of the day. Their accounts of council meetings, accidents, and criminal activities were rife with personal embellishments...

Christmas in Rat Portage

Christmas in Rat Portage Vol. 10 No. 4by Lori Nelson In the still of a crisp winter morning, our town must look like it has for the past 120 winters. The cool waters of the lake are softened by a glistening mantle of snow. Bare tree branches sparkle with hoar frost....

Dear Mother: A Bride’s Letters Home

Dear Mother: A Bride’s Letters Home Vol. 11 No. 2 On December 31, 1912, Nellie Perry Winslow of Saco, Maine, married Joseph Rideout of Kenora, Ontario. The groom’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Harding Rideout, lived in Kenora, and it was here that the newlyweds came to live...

The Five Roses Cookbook

The Five Roses Cookbook Vol. 12 No. 2by Lisa Moncrief The history of Lake of the Woods Milling Company reads like a soap opera. As is the case with many small businesses, it had its up, up, ups and its down, down, downs over the course of its lifetime –  some quite...

The Women of Kenora

The Women of Kenora Vol. 11 No. 4by Lori Nelson October is Women’s History Month – a time to highlight the past and present contributions of women to Canadian society and to recognize the achievements of women from all walks of life as a vital part of our Canadian...

On Active Duty

On Active Duty Vol. 12 No. 18by Riley Sleeman One of the most welcome things to a soldier fighting overseas was a letter or parcel from home. And for his anxious loved ones, nothing could be more exciting that a letter from their son, brother, husband, or father, with...

Where is the Real Massacre Island?

Where is the Real Massacre Island? Vol. 14 No. 3by Lori Nelson Lake Of The Woods – 1736 On an afternoon in early June, Jean Baptiste LaVerendrye, Father Aulneau, and 19 other men set off from Fort St. Charles in three large canoes. They were headed for Kaministikwia...

Waiting for Break-up on Lake of the Woods

Waiting for Break-up on Lake of the Woods Vol. 16 No. 3by Peggy O’Flaherty My parents moved to Kenora in 1948 when Dad bought the Bentz Brewery, renamed Lake of the Woods Brewing Company. When the brewery folded he opened Pat’s Stationary and Novelty Shop on...

The Hudson’s Bay Company in Rat Portage

The Hudson’s Bay Company in Rat Portage   Vol. 14 No. 2by the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives 1836. That is the earliest reference to a trading post near the site known as Portage du Rat or the rat carrying place. It seems likely that the post was built to...

McLeod Park

McLeod Park Vol. 13 No. 3by Lori Nelson There’s a small parcel of land situated between downtown Kenora and Tunnel Island that, in its history, mirrors a substantial part of the development of the entire area. McLeod Park wasn’t always the gem of a park that it is...

Farming on the Canadian Shield

Farming on the Canadian Shield Vol. 16 No. 2 LOUIS HILLARD’S FINE FARM Rat Portage Miner and News – September 6, 1904 Excerpted from a letter written to the editor by a visitor to Mr. Hillard’s farm which was located in Jaffray, about 2 miles from downtown Rat Portage...

Western Algoma Brick Co.

Western Algoma Brick Co.   Vol. 17 No. 2 On July 31, 1894, the local newspaper, The Semi-Weekly Record, made this pronouncement… “The wooden era of our town is at an end and we have entered upon the brick and stone era.” For the community of Rat Portage, whose...

The Prominent Business Houses of Rat Portage

The Prominent Business Houses of Rat Portage   Vol. 18 No. 4 In 1888, “The New West”, a publication from Winnipeg, Manitoba, published the following account entitled Prominent Business Houses of Rat Portage. QUEEN’S HOTELRigney Bros., Proprietors, Rat Portage–One of...

Rat Portage Becomes Kenora

Rat Portage Becomes Kenora   Vol. 15 No. 1by Lori Nelson Local legend has it that the town’s name was changed from Rat Portage to Kenora because the Maple Leaf Milling Company was reluctant to establish a mill here if it meant having to put the word rat on their flour...

The Struggle for Daylight Savings Time

THE STRUGGLE FOR DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME Vol. 13 No. 2by Lori Nelson Some sprang forward and others flatly refused to budge on May 1st, 1914 in the Town of Kenora. In answer to the questions; How would you like to get up an hour earlier in the morning and retire just...

1900

1900 Vol. 10 No. 1by Rat Portage Miner   Municipal elections were held on January 1st. Mayor McCarthy was re-elected. Griffith’s Shoal Lake Stage Line had a regular run to all the mines on the Mikado Peninsula. “Comfortable heated rigs” pulled by “fast teams”...

1901

1901 Vol. 11 No. 1by Rat Portage Miner   The population of Rat Portage was 5,243. The front-page headline of the January 25th Rat Portage Miner & Rainy Lake Journal was: WE MOURN THE QUEEN: Victoria the Good is Numbered with the Dead. Edward VII is now King...

1902

1902 Vol. 14 No. 3by Rat Portage Miner   The manager of the Mikado Mine arrived in town with $7,000 worth of gold bricks. D.C. Cameron was elected mayor and F.A. Hudson, A.S. Horswill, W.G. Cameron, C.W. Chadwick, G.E. Foster, and W. McCarthy were elected as...

1903

1903 Vol. 13 No. 1by Rat Portage Miner   At the end of January, travellers on the lake reported that the ice was, on average, only 6-8 thick. The Ski Club boasted 25 members. On August 14, the town of Rat Portage was hit by what was then described as the severest...
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